Are you interested in spending some time on the water but don’t want the hassle of owning a boat?
You might want to investigate the possibility of joining a boat club where you can rent boats without the need for any maintenance or upkeep on your part. Bonita Springs has several wonderful boat clubs you can join.
For more information on the boat clubs that you could join, take a look at some of these overviews.
Bay Water Boat Club
Many people like coming to the Bay Water Boat Club because of its extensive collection of boats that you can choose from.
They have more than sixty boats that are purchased brand new and fully loaded. They have features like working radios, livewells, GPS, and more. You can choose from center consoles, deck boats, double-deckers, pontoons, and twin engines.
A few of their boats include:
- C32 Avalon Platinum Funship
- C11 Bennington Fishing Pontoon
- C25 Mako Pro Skiff
- C19- 21-foot Carolina Ultra Elite SS
- C1 Bennington Fishing Pontoon (22-foot)
One of the main benefits of going with the Bay Water Boat Club is that they own their docks and boats outright.
While some clubs charge additional dock fees, you never face these types of charges when you choose to boat with Bay Water.
Reservations are handled slightly differently than they are with other companies. Instead of reserving a boat for a set time, you can keep it for the whole day from 8:00 in the morning to 5:00 at night. You can use two separate reservations to book it for two consecutive days, allowing you to use the boat through sunset or keep it overnight.
Members are permitted to make three reservations at a time. You can schedule them up to three months in advance, but you might also be able to use them on the spur of the moment. All unreserved boats are up for grabs on a first-come, first-serve basis whenever you want. Like many of the major boat clubs, they try to keep a 10:1 ratio between members and available boats.
Keep in mind all of the fun perks that go along with membership here. You can enjoy free ice and coolers, on-site parking, dock carts, and a free coast guard safety course. If you don’t want to man the boat, they can even help provide a captain (for a small fee).
Sweetwater Lifestyles Adventures
Sweetwater Lifestyles Adventures is about more than just the boats, though they do want you to spend your fair share of time on the water.
When you decide to sign up for a membership through Sweetwater, you are committing to a certain lifestyle. You will enjoy the camaraderie of being around like-minded individuals in a high-class establishment.
Located right in the marina, your membership grants you access to the Backwater Jack’s restaurant. Enjoy fine dining with spectacular views with all of the new friends you will make through the club. Whether you want to meet up with buddies for a round of drinks or enjoy a three-course meal, this is the perfect place for you to hang out.
They claim to have the lowest member to boat ratio in all of southwest Florida, and it may very well be true. They certainly have an extensive list of boats that prospective members can take for a spin.
Consider some of these models that will be right at your fingertips:
- Robalo 317
- Robalo 247
- Chaparral 250 Suncoast
- Avalon Catalina Funship
- Robalo 246 Cayman
- Chaparral 230 Suncoast
- Avalon 2585 RJ
There are two distinct levels of membership that you can choose from with Sweetwater Lifestyles Adventures. The first is the Captain package, which grants you unlimited use of the fleet of boats and free dining membership at their restaurant.
It also offers discounts on things like fishing charters and tour boat excursions. For a small fee of $300 per day, you can even have a United States Coast Guard licensed captain man your boat for the day.
The Admiral membership comes with significantly more perks. You can also gain access to their premium fleet with captain-driven boats. You get four free daily captain services. When those four tickets have been used, you can also “rent” a captain for $300 per day. Additionally, you get discounts on fishing charters and one free private charter with a captain for a tour boat excursion.
Both memberships come with Sweetwater Academy, which covers new member orientation and free one-on-one training with licensed captains.
Barefoot Boat Club
If you want access to some of the best sailing and fishing in Florida, then Barefoot Boat Club’s convenient location in Bonita Springs is going to be ideal for you. You are just fifteen minutes away from the Gulf through either Wiggins Pass or Little Hickory Pass.
Unlike some of the other boat clubs that focus primarily on renting or chartering their boats, Barefoot Boat Club caters to those who already own their boats.
One of the main draws is their wet and dry boat storage options. Their indoor storage facility has ninety storage racks, and eighteen wet boat slips that you can purchase or rent. They are even equipped with a 24-hour security system.
People like choosing to store their boat with Barefoot Boat Club because they also offer premier valet services. All you have to do is call ahead and let them know that you are on your way to spend a day in the water. Their experienced professionals will carefully launch your boat and have it waiting for you.
When the day is done, they wash the exterior, flush out the engine, and store it back in the warehouse at no additional fee. On-site boat and motor repair are also available just in case something goes awry after your day at sea.
They are a Florida DEP Clean Marina. The gas docks here are all ethanol-free and are available to the public.
Members who aren’t in the mood to spend the day on the water can still enjoy the atmosphere. You can spend the afternoon in their modern clubhouse, soaking up the sun with their bay-view pool and a full-service tiki hut.
If you are hosting a large event, you may want to rent their unique venue. You get beautiful views of Hickory Bay, along with indoor and outdoor seating. It even comes with a fully-equipped kitchen. Invite up to seventy-five people to your major event with plenty of comfortable breathing room in this spacious location.
Freedom Boat Club
Do you prefer the security in signing up for a boat club with a national chain?
Freedom Boat Club happens to have one of their many locations right in the beautiful area surrounding Bonita Springs and Bonita Beach. You can get access to the Gateway to the Gulf through their convenient location.
Freedom Boat Club has a long history dating back to 1989, first beginning in Sarasota, Florida. They began the way that many boat clubs do, with a desire to make boating more accessible to the average individual instead of forcing them to purchase their own boat. Now, they have locations across the United States. Even if you are traveling, you can take advantage of their boats at other locations as well because of their reciprocal benefits.
The best thing about opting for a major boat club like Freedom is their access to so many different types of boats. They have the funds and resources necessary to keep up with many different makes and models.
To give you an example of just a few of the boats they offer, here is a quick glimpse:
- 2016 Key West 211DC Bowrider
- 2017 Sweetwater Freedom 2286 Pontoon
- 2018 Sweetwater Freedom 22286 Pontoon
- 2019 Scout 2010 Dorado Bowrider
- 2018 Hurricane 192 Deck Boat
- 2018 Scout 177 Center Console
- 2019 Cobia Bay Boat Center Console
Many people like the flexibility that comes along with membership at Freedom. Several different membership options exist depending on what works best for you. You can choose from a seasonal pass, a year-round pass, a weekday pass, or a special friends and family option. No matter how often you want to get on the water, there is a package just waiting for you.
Members can make reservations for boats up to six months in advance through the online portal. All boat usage is completely unlimited, as long as there are boats available.
One of the key features is that Freedom never rents their boats out to non-members, even during slow seasons. This ensures that there is always a wide selection of their best boats for you to choose from when making your reservations.
Bonita Springs is a beautiful area with sparkling blue waters just minutes away from the Gulf.
If you don’t own a boat yourself, then you need to find some way to satiate your need to be on the water.
A boat club like one of these can help you to find your way onto the water this season!
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.